Here in West Cornwall there’s an incredible choice of beautiful beaches. Here are some of our favourites, which are all in, or close to, St Ives.
Beersheba’s picturesque local beach has a Mediterranean feel, and is home to Ocean Sports for aquatic activities – kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and up to five adventurers can even try a coastal tour on a Hawaiian canoe.
Blue Flag status with lifeguards, beach cafe, upmarket restaurants and toilets.
Just over 1.5 miles walk, all downhill to get there, but a steep climb back.
Porthmeor Beach, St Ives
The westernmost St Ives beach – where the Atlantic swell breaks – is popular with surfers, and is a great foodie’s beach.
St Ives Surf School provide bespoke surf lessons and coaching, paddleboarding tuition, sea kayaking tours and coasteering adventures as good as anywhere in the UK.
Blue Flag – lifeguards, toilets, great takeaways and restaurants – the beach front pods are brilliant. A lively spot with DJs in the summer evenings.
Porthminster Beach, St Ives
A much-loved St Ives beach, with excellent facilities and gorgeous turquoise water for swimming.
Easy to get to either by bus or train as the train station sits above the beach.
Blue Flag – lifeguards, toilets, St Ives’ top beach cafe, takeaways, beach shop and bars make your day on the beach easy.
SUPs, kayaks, windbreaks, parasols & deckchairs to hire.
Hayle really does have “three miles of golden sands” as its sign proclaims and stretches round to the Red River at Godrevy. Near the Hayle estuary are dunes and a sandy beach. Avoid swimming or SUPping near the estuary due to dangerous tidal currents. The estuary is a wildlife reserve.
At the other end – Gwithian, there is fantastic surfing and the Surf Academy.
Facilities vary along the stretch of beach but lifeguards and toilets on some sections.
A great beach for both surfing and rockpooling, overlooked by Godrevy Lighthouse and owned by the National Trust it has a great view from the opposite side of St Ives Bay.
Go seal spotting from the cliff-tops or scramble on the rocks.
Godrevy Cafe coffee shop, toilets, lifeguards and great views.
The nearby Rockpool Beach Cafe is a great spot for lunch.
Marazion & St Michael’s Mount
This popular family beach on the south coast, near Penzance, has great views of St Michael’s Mount – walk there via a granite causeway at low tide. It’s pretty sheltered, so is a good swimming, kayaking and SUPping spot. There’s a lovely off road coastal bike route from Penzance harbour car park.
Lifeguards, Godolphin Arms pub, icecreams and toilets plus a play park. Easy parking.
Best for Families
Beautiful Carbis Bay and Porthminster beaches are Blue Flag awarded for their great facilities and cleanliness. They have gentle waves and are great for swimming, paddling and stand up paddle boarding. You can easily travel to Porthminster via the scenic park and ride train that runs from St Erth, along the coast, to St Ives.
Godrevy is brilliant for rockpools, wildlife and scenery. Porthmeor and Gwithian are the best surfing spots.
Marazion is great for easy access as you can park right next to the beach. There is a children’s play park as well. You can walk, at low tide, across to St Michael’s Mount.
There are numerous gorgeous beaches to the north, west and south of Beersheba Farm. On windy days, check out the weather and wind direction. If the wind is from the north – head to the south coast, if it’s coming from the south, the north coast is your best bet.
Sheltered north coast beaches (for winds from the south/south-west/west): Carbis Bay, Porthgwidden and the Harbour in St Ives. Godrevy can be good is there’s an easterly breeze.
Sheltered south coast beaches: Porthcurno (near the Minack theatre), Porthleven and Praa Sands.
Best for Aquatic Adventures
Nearby Ocean Sports at Carbis Bay has kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and even a MEGA SUP.
Kitesurfing is a real adventure in windy conditions – try CS Watersports Academy.
Try sailing, windsurfing and even wingsurfing/foiling at Stithians reservoir.
How about snorkelling – lots of great spots around St Ives? Or a kayaking safari or coasteering from Porthleven.
Want to snorkel with blue sharks – you can do that too! With Blue Shark Snorkel, in Penzance.
There are some brilliant dive spots all around West Cornwall, and diving lessons and equipment available from PADI centres at Helston and Falmouth.
These fabulous beaches are all unrestricted throughout the year:
Bamaluz (St Ives); Porthkidney (Lelant – walkable from Beersheba Farm); Gwithian, Mexico Towans and Harvey Towans (Hayle).
Some of our favourites that are fully accessible until the end of June and from 1 September:
Porthgwidden Beach and St Ives Harbour Beach (St Ives) and Godrevy Point (Hayle), Marazion (Penzance). From 1 July to 31 August dogs are not allowed on these beaches from 10 am to 6 pm.
Out and About - Activities
Swimming & Sports
A great bet when the weather isn’t its best but you still want to get active.
Hayle Outdoor Swimming Pool is open daily from end of June through to September 11th – prebook your session online. Solar heated pool around 20-24 degrees (pictured above). There’s an indoor and an outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room at nearby Una St Ives (spa prices).
The beautiful art deco Jubilee Pool, Penzance, is the UK’s largest, most celebrated art deco sea water lido and geothermally heated pool. Book online, especially for the popular geothermal sessions. Glorious on a sunny day, but can be a little chilly if its windy, wetsuits permitted for the main pool.
St Ives Leisure Centre has indoor pools, a gym and fitness classes.
Penzance Leisure Centre has indoor pools, with fun float sessions and a flume on Sundays. There’s also a gym, fitness classes and a sports hall for badminton.
St Ives Tennis Club has fantastic synthetic clay all weather courts, with stunning views over Porthminster beach. Book online – you will need your own rackets & balls.
Golf for All Ages
The closest 18 hole golf course is West Cornwall, Lelant, there’s also a 9 hole course at Tregenna Castle. At Hayle Golf Club you’ll find a 12 hole course and driving range which the whole family can enjoy. In St Erth, Penwith Pitch and Putt is great for all ages.
Why not play traditional wooden 9 pin skittles at Country Skittles, near Hayle? With a large family friendly restaurant, board games, arcade games, pool table and a crazy golf, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.
For ten pin bowling, there’s Truro Bowl in Cornwall’s cathedral city.
Challenge your puzzle solving skills and teamwork at any of local Escape Rooms. Nearest is Escape Time in St Ives, there are also Escape Rooms in Penzance, Camborne, Helston, Falmouth and Truro.
There’s amazing quarry based high wire, zip line and aquatic adventures for 8 years & up at Via Ferrata, near Falmouth.
Fly on England’s fastest zip wire, tackle an aerial assault course and plummet in a giant swing – plus more adrenaline-fuelled experiences for thrill seekers, at the Eden Project, run by Hangloose.
Try wakeboarding, surf the Flowrider, or do your best not to wipe out on the inflatable Aquapark, on the lake at Retallack in mid Cornwall.
What about seeing Cornwall from the air – Seahawk Gliding Club offer trial lessons where you can soar at heights of 2000 ft above the beautiful coastline. Or take a trial flying lesson with Perranporth Flying Club.
Coast to Coast in Hayle has karting sessions suitable for 8 years and up.
Or visit Cornwall’s premier outdoor Go-Kart Circuit at St Eval, between Newquay & Padstow.
Indoor & Outdoor Play
There are a couple of local pubs with soft play areas – we recommend the Stable Bar at Polmanter Touring Park in Halsetown – book a lunch or dinner and kids can have fun in the adjoining soft play area. There’s also Brewer’s Fayre at Loggans Moor, Hayle.
Heartlands in Pool has an indoor soft play centre, and a brilliant (free) Adventure Playground. A 19-acre Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, Heartlands is a family friendly visitor attraction that embodies Cornish culture, with historical mining buildings and exhibitions celebrating the contribution of the Cornish to mining around the world.
Explore by Open Top Bus
Details coming soon.
Boat Trips and Fishing
Details coming soon.
Venture Out on 2 Wheels
Cornwall is a beautiful area to explore by bike. There are 180 miles of interlinking trails and routes on the Cornish Way.
Our favourite mainly off-road routes are the short route from Penzance to Marazion, the Coast to Coast trail and the Camel Trail stretching from Padstow to Bodmin.
Leaving the farm and utilising mainly rural lanes, our favourite three destinations by bike are:
– the beaches at Hayle (via Lelant)
– the quieter back roads to Zennor (optional detour to St Ives)
– a circular route around Trencrom Hill to Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens and St Michael’s Mount, Marazion and back via the First and Last Trail.
Out and About - Recommended Walks
Whether it’s ancient monuments, the stunning coast path, beaches or quiet rural walks, there are fantastic walking routes in and around Beersheba Farm. Situated on St Michael’s Way you can follow in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims travelling from coast to coast.
Beersheba to St Ives, via the Steeple
Quiet cross-country route to St Ives, via footpaths and quiet lanes, and stopping at the spectacular Knill’s Monument overlooking St Ives Bay.
From Beersheba Farm entrance, take St Michael’s Way footpath signposted opposite until you join Laity Lane. Follow for around a mile, before taking the footpath on your right to Knill’s Monument at the Steeple.
Head north from the Steeple, down through Steeple Woodland, cut down the lane past St Ives School, turn left past the school and head down Belyars Lane. Keep to the steps and footpaths heading downhill, past the Albany, over the road and past the Porthminster Hotel, under the railway bridge and you arrive at Porthminster Beach!
3.5 miles one way, so get the bus or train back if needed!
Beersheba to Trencrom Hill
A short but hilly walk using St Michael’s Way.
From the farm entrance, turn left and soon after take the style on your left (just past the entrance to Standing Stone Stables). Cross this field and then into a second field, follow the hedge around 100 yards until a style on your right.
Climb this style to join the path that runs downhill behind the hedge to Bowl Rock at the bottom. Cross over the road (caution – busy road) and then rejoin the path on the right behind Bowl Rock Chapel (now a house). This path leads up through a field and over a gate to the road on the hill below Trencrom Hill fort. Take a path up towards the crest of the hill. Spectacular rock formations and remnants of the iron age hill fort (look for hut circles and a boundary wall) are visible on the top of the hill.
The views from the top cover both the north and south coasts, as well as St Michael’s Mount – well worth the trek!
1.5 miles one way – walk back when rested!
Beersheba to Porthkidney Beach
Approx 5 miles circular
A circular walk out to the South West Coast Path, and then to Porthkidney beach and back via Lelant.
Leave Beersheba Farm and turn right, walk down the road and take the first right behind Longstone Cemetery.
Cross over the road (caution busy road) and go down Church Lane.
As the road bears right take the footpath beside Gonwin Manor Cottages. Turn left at the end of the footpath and walk to Headland Road.
Take a right down the lane towards the railway track. Cross the railway track (caution unmanned crossing) to join the SW Coast Path (alternatively you can follow the footpath right from Gonwin Manor for 10-15 minutes until you reach the bridge over the railway track).
Turn right along the coast path and follow for 10-15 minutes until you reach the dunes and take a path left to the beach. Walk along the beach and around the headland to Hayle Estuary (not possible at high tide).
Follow the river inland until you reach some steps on the right hand side. Take the steps and the path up through the golf course and past St Uny’s Church, Lelant.
Turn right to return up via Church Lane, back past Gonwin Manor and back the way you came to Beersheba.
Out and About - Feeding the Mind and Body
Places to eat and drink
There are lots of fantastic restaurants to tempt your tastebuds. Una Kitchen is within easy walking distance – just opposite the farm entrance. La Casita down the road offers tapas and Spanish food. Carbis Bay Hotel has a beautifully placed Beach Club. There is Beck’s fish and chips nearby. St Ives has a plethora of pubs, restaurants, delis and takeaways as well as a farmer’s market (Guildhall – Thursdays) – see the St Ives Tourism Association website.
Wellbeing & Swimming
There is a Spa nearby (at Una St Ives), with treatments, massages and spa days available, as well as leisure facilities including an indoor pool. Handy for a little holiday pampering!
St Ives Leisure Centre has an indoor swimming pool, fitness classes and gym with great ocean views – Aiden Turner worked out here when filming Poldark!
The UK’s largest outdoor lido – the celebrated Jubilee Pool now has a geothermal heated pool, a cafe and is well worth a visit.
Arts and Culture
St Ives has galleries, ceramic studios – including the Bernard Leach Pottery & Museum, theatres and workshops. Try your hand at pottery, dip into an art workshop, or catch the sensational Kids R Us youth theatre.
Venture further afield to instagrammer’s paradise beach at Porthcurno, and head up the cliff to take in a performance at the spectacular Minack Theatre.
Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden
Discover the magical home and unique garden of one of the key members of the St Ives school of artists – Barbara Hepworth. A fantastic display of sculptures in bronze, stone and wood is on show in her home, studio and garden in the heart of St Ives. Visit her workshop with tools and works in progress, preserved since her death in 1975.
The Barbara Hepworth Museum is managed by Tate St Ives and can be visited on a joint ticket.
Tate St Ives
Winner of the 2018 Musuem of the Year, Tate St Ives is even bigger and better since its award winning extension – see internationally renowned artists, including those linked to St Ives, in this flagship gallery.
The cafe at the top has one of the best views in town over Porthminster Beach.
Out and About - Animal Adventures
Standing Stone Stables is next door to Beersheba Farm and has group and private lessons, hacks and pony days.
Great team of instructors and a good range of friendly ponies and horses for all ages and experience levels.
Explore via the quiet lanes and enjoy the gorgeous views of this beautfiul part of Cornwall on four legs!
Tel: 07903 022172 or message via Facebook.
In nearby Hayle, Paradise Park, is a haven for wildlife and a great family day out.
They have a collection of over 1,200 birds including many rare and beautiful parrots, Humboldt’s penguins, Caribbean flamingos, Red-billed Cornish choughs, Golden and Bald eagles, kookaburras, hornbills, toucans and so many more. Plus, beautiful Red pandas, rare Red squirrels and very cute tiny Harvest Mice and farm animals.
There are indoor and outdoor play areas, a small ride on train, flying displays by parrots, owls and birds of prey and penguin feeding talks.
Cornish Seal Sanctuary
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a charity that rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from around the Cornish coastline. Each season (Sept – Mar), the Sanctuary rehabilitates over 70 seal pups that have been rescued for various reasons, from malnourishment to being separated from their mum.
The Sanctuary is also home to permanent seal and sea lion residents, penguins, goats and some secretive beavers. Set in a beautiful location on the Helford, it’s a lovely family day out.